January 11, 2017 at 04:21AM

Your excellent summary (What this year could hold for public services, 4 January) had much useful analysis on how the NHS and other state services may be “brought to the brink”. Your readers may also wish to know that the House of Commons is currently considering a bill that will remove the duty to have local safeguarding children boards, the well-established multi-agency groups across the country that coordinate safeguarding and assure its effectiveness. Our government says the children and social work bill “creates new, more flexible partnership arrangements to protect children locally” but there are serious concerns that such “freedoms” will place children in danger – like the one that the Lords recently rejected regarding local authorities being “offered freedom” through this bill not to comply with the Children Act. The “flexible” arrangements offered by this bill also reduce the statutory requirement for the currently large range of agencies to work together in safeguarding to only three – and schools, our most important safeguarders of children, will not be included.

The parliament website recently gave short notice that the public, and any interested bodies, may send in their views by 17 January.
Sarah Webb

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from Education | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2idWFPU